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DEFENCE MINISTRY OVERSEES EPIDEMIC RESPONSE AT STRATEGIC HUNGARIAN COMPANIES

 

Operative groups set up by the defence ministry started working at 71 Hungarian companies to coordinate containment measures in connection with the novel coronavirus epidemic. The operative bodies started work at the Hungarian Stock Exchange, oil and gas company MOL, national rail company MÁV and at the country’s public broadcaster, among others, the ministry said. The aim is to ensure the seamless operation of essential production lines and services, it said.
Defence Minister Tibor Benkő, who heads the government’s action group in charge of the security of the companies, also said that the military will patrol streets starting on Friday, when there will be “increased military presence” across the country, especially in towns and cities with military facilities.
The minister of agriculture said that Hungary’s food supply is safe and stable, with sufficient amount of food available. “There is absolutely no need to stock up on food,” István Nagy told public news channel M1. Hungary’s agriculture can supply 25 million people, he said, adding that several instances of overpricing of food had been caused by panic and was not justified by market developments. He promised action against overpricing, including on-site inspections.
Meanwhile, it was reported that six people are in a serious condition with the Covid-19 disease and are being treated in intensive care in Hungary. The chief medical officer, Cecília Müller, said that the total of confirmed cases in Hungary now stands at 73. Cases have been reported nationwide, she added. The epidemic in the country has entered in its second phase, as the virus is being transmitted in clusters, she said.
The ruling Fidesz parliamentary group has asked parliament to authorise the government to extend the virus-related state of emergency as soon as possible. Group leader Máté Kocsis noted that the government can only order a state of emergency for fifteen days before turning to parliament for an extension. He added the government trusted that parliament would extend the state of emergency. Kocsis asked the other parliamentary parties to support the initiative.